McDonald's takes CSR report digital

OAK BROOK, IL: McDonald's published its first CSR report in two years in a digital format complete with a blog and videos. Bob Langert, VP of CSR at McDonald's said the company hopes the new format will increase employee and consumer interest in the results, which were released October 29.

OAK BROOK, IL: McDonald's published its first CSR report in two years in a digital format complete with a blog and videos. Bob Langert, VP of CSR at McDonald's said the company hopes the new format will increase employee and consumer interest in the results, which were released October 29.

The study, the company's first since 2006 and fourth since 2002, highlights the fast-food giant's work in governance and ethics, environmental responsibility, nutrition and well-being, sustainable supply chains, and employment experience and community. It was created in a nine-to-10 month process, Langert said.

The study's primary audience is McDonald's 1.6 million employees, plus contractors and staffers of other companies within its food-supply chain, said Langert. Members of the sustainability community, high-school and college students researching the topic, and interested members of the general public are other important audiences for the report, he added.

“We really tried to make [the report] very interesting, to bring out the video and to use the blog more and have layers and layers…in the way that it appeals to everyone,” Langert said. “Social responsibility is a part of everyone's job at McDonald's, and everyone should care, so the language is straightforward.”

The restaurant chain will add content to the CSR Web site, including a newsroom, and Open for Discussion blog, which will be authored by Langert and other members of McDonald's senior management, on an ongoing basis. The company also published a condensed electronic book version of the report on site.

McDonald's internal PR staff is conducting media outreach and internal communications for the report, said Tara Handy, senior manager of corporate media relations at McDonald's. Externally it is mainly targeting food and restaurant industry reporters, sustainability-focused publications, and general interest consumer titles.

The company is also promoting the study to employees through e-mail messages from CEO Jim Skinner and regional presidents, a CSR report screen saver appearing automatically on all computers at McDonald's home office, and information packets distributed via desk drop at the company's headquarters.

McDonald's has an AOR relationship with GolinHarris and works with other agencies. However, its corporate staff handled communications for the report, because it was almost entirely an internal effort, Handy noted.

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